Limited as a tax payer over the salary cap, the Lakers had few options in acquiring players in the offseason, so they were pleased when Antawn Jamison agreed to a contract at the veteran's minimum salary to come play backup forward in 2012-13.
A career 18.8 per game scorer in his 15-year career out of North Carolina, Jamison's role fluctuated at times (six DNP-CDs in late December and early January) as coach Mike D’Antoni tried to figure out his rotation after taking over the job in November.
Jamison's production increased as his playing time became more consistent, especially after the All-Star break. His best statistical month was in February, when he posted 13.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25 minutes per night, and hit at least one three-pointer in 12 of 13 games.
He continued to play well into March, shooting well over 40 percent for the two-month stretch, but suffered a sprained wrist on March 22 at home against Washington when he landed awkwardly on his right hand. Jamison played through the pain during the last month of the season, including the playoffs, electing to postpone surgery until after the year.
Known for his touch around the rim and his wide array of shots, Jamison converted on 67.6 percent of his attempts (per nba.com) at the rim, while also showing range – 42.0 percent from 16-23 feet – as a stretch power forward in D’Antoni’s lineups. He shot a respectable 36.1 percent from three on the season, including 38.3 percent at Staples Center.
Defense has never been Jamison's strong suit, and was an issue for the Lakers at times when he was matched against the league's bigger power forwards or quicker small forwards.
Nonetheless, while settling into a lesser role than normally accustomed to during his career, Jamison was productive towards averages of 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds on 46.4 percent field goals in 76 games, plus 29 total points and seven rebounds in four playoff games.